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Book reviews

1 February 02

Review of Solicitors’ Guide to Good Management

by Matthew, Alan

The majority of Solicitors in Scotland are in private practice. At the last count there were 1242 firms in Scotland. It is trite to say that each firm requires to be managed. That includes “single partner firms”.

Despite the best efforts of the Diploma and the requirements to carry out management CPD, in some cases practitioners lack the necessary management skills and experience to effectively manage their practices.  Understandably, the vast majority of solicitors concentrate on legal work which is what they were trained to do.  The Solicitors Guide to Good Management is a worthy attempt to give guidance to the inexperienced and to act as a reminder to those who claim to know it all!  Even firms where administration may be delegated to a specialist, senior lawyer are necessarily involved in management of staff and workloads.

This book is intended as a guide directed primarily to the needs of solicitors in private practice.  However, it will also be helpful to “in house” lawyers.

The Guide is intended to be used as a management tool to be consulted as required rather than read from cover to cover.  These are easy to read and simple check lists for various areas of practice. These include both strategic and operational management.  Managing people, managing staff and partners, client relationships, the practice, finance, resources and information are all covered.

The Appendix helpfully sets out National Management Standards, which again are in easy to read terms.

This book will not turn solicitors into good managers.  If, however, solicitors follow the guidance given there is no reason why they cannot become good and effective managers.  This can only help their businesses.

Alan Matthew